Buckinghamshire suspends some food waste collections

Food waste collections in Chiltern and Wycombe will be suspended from 16 August for a month due to the staff shortages. 

The council decided to suspend food waste to prioritise other services

Buckinghamshire council released a statement yesterday, asking residents in these areas to put their food waste in with their general rubbish during this time.

The council reassured that this would be a “interim measure” and that the food waste service will resume on 13 September on the usual collection days.

By suspending the service, the council said that drivers can collect all waste in fewer rounds, while it navigates the staff shortage.

The council said it is working alongside its contractor, Veolia, to minimise any further disruption, however “recruitment and training of HGV drivers is difficult in the current market and takes time”.


Councils across the country are seeing disruptions to service due to the HGV driver shortage, mixed with covid-19 self isolations.

In recent days a string of councils have said they’ve had to suspend garden waste collections and are reporting high numbers of missed collections.

Many have appealed for qualified drivers to come forward as the situation becomes more acute (see letsrecycle.com story).

‘Taking action’

A statement from Buckinghamshire council said: “The collection services within Buckinghamshire are split with a mixture of outsourced providers and in-house services.

“All are feeling the impact of the national driver shortage affecting our industry at the moment. However, the Chiltern & Wycombe area is seeing more impact with service disruption. By taking action now to temporarily suspend only the Food Waste service, it will help to reduce the level of disruption residents might otherwise experience.”

Garden waste

Amid the shortage, many councils have taken the decision to suspend garden waste collection in order to prioritise other services, such as food waste recycling (see

The council has asked residents to put food waste in with general waste

letsrecycle.com story).

However, Buckinghamshire council explained that it is trying to maintain the garden waste service as it “very popular with residents”.

The council explained: “The first duty of any local authority is to protect the health of staff and residents. An options appraisal was conducted and temporarily collecting food as general rubbish was considered the best way to prevent the build-up of general rubbish, recycling and garden waste during this challenging period.”

“The garden waste service is used most in the summer months and we recognise that suspending this service would cause an inconvenience to residents. By collecting food waste as general rubbish temporarily, all of the usual materials residents dispose of at the kerbside will still be collected.”



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